German airports put buzz into air quality

Always on the look-out for novel approaches to doing things, we are rather drawn to Düsseldorf International’s – and seven other German airports’ – use of bees to monitor air quality, as recently reported in the New York Times.

Experts analyse samples from honey made by bees at hives around the airports twice a year. According to the Association of German Airports, the bee programme is not intended in to substitute conventional monitoring techniques, but maintains the initiative is readily understood by the public.

Samples taken from honey made by some 200,000 bees in June suggest air quality at the airports are well below official limits, in line with results reported ever since the scheme was first established in 2006. Local beekeepers tend these buzzing environmental watchdogs and give away the honey under the ‘Düsseldorf Natural’ label.

Düsseldorf International is no stranger to smart applications, as it uses a range of Cavotec ground support equipment (GSE), including three hangar-based pop-up pits to service aircraft. Our GSE equipment is designed to help operators make airports run more efficiently and thereby, become more sustainable. Work those busy bees might just bee keeping tabs on.